When real-estate values crashed in Southern California in 1991, my wife, Gerda, and I found an incredible opportunity in Newport Beach. We were able to buy 2½ acres on a bluff with unobstructed views of the Pacific.
After we closed, we spent the next four years with three different architects before we started building a house. When we finished, I became a more productive author, and today we enjoy our home so much that we rarely want to go out.
From the start, Gerda and I knew the house was going to take about seven years to finish. It was an insane undertaking for an author who writes six days a week, but eventually everything fell into place. I had been waiting my entire life to build a house that I would never want to leave.
Read the full essay @ WSJ.com.